When I reboot a Windows 2003 or Windows 2008 server via a Remote Desktop connection, the server comes back up and will not accept any RDP connections: the RDP client errors out with "Connection Refused."

The Terminal Services service is running on the server and restarting it has no effect. No errors are logged on the server.

The only way I've found to fix this is to login at the console or via the DRAC and reboot the machine again, which is an ugly solution for obvious reasons.

Has anyone run into this before?


3 Answers 3


Yes, I've run into it on several different servers. Two workarounds have been reliable for me, 1) always use the /admin option of mstsc when starting the session that will initiate the reboot, or 2) use the shutdown command from another server to do the reboot.

  • 1
    The /admin flag seems to work for me.
    – sh-beta
    Apr 20, 2010 at 15:08
  • Thanks SqlACID, mstsc /admin did the trick for me. Does Any one has an idea/logic behind it?
    – ravi2i
    Jan 11, 2017 at 8:10

Does the server have multiple NICs? I've had similar issues when terminal services service binds to the wrong one. If that's case, see RDP - Remote Desktop disconnected, Error 2308 socket closed

  • I've seen this on multi-NIC and single-NIC machines.
    – sh-beta
    Apr 15, 2010 at 13:38
  • that does not fix the problem to me Apr 19, 2010 at 11:20

EDIT - didnt read the entire question before submitting answer.

Have you tried resetting the terminal services session remotely?

at Command Prompt, type qwinsta /server:

It will give you the following result:

console     0   Conn    wdcon
rdp-tcp     65536   Listen  rdpwd
rdp-tcp#8   Administrator   7   Active  rdpwd
rdp-tcp#9   Internet    8   Active  rdpwd

Choose the ID of the session that you would like to end and type: rwinsta /server: 8

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